BIOGRAPHY: Page 2 of 4
bad choices. Jobs and boyfriends came and went, and there was a disastrous short lived marriage. I drifted along like a stick in a river, but I was resourceful, I made friends easily, and even if I lived in grotty bedsitters, I always decorated them and turned them into homes.
I embraced the latter half of the Sixties with enthusiasm. Micro mini’s, flowers in my hair, shared houses with other wild people, made clothes for a couple of boutiques, then a spell as a Bunny at the Playboy club. The latter led onto promotion work which I really loved and was made for.
By the time I met and fell in love with John, a trumpet player in 1968, I was more clued up. Through him I met David Bowie, Steve Marriot and many other then well known musicians. I didn’t know then I was doing the research for what would many years later become my first published book ‘Georgia’. We had a daughter Lucy, but sadly John’s erratic lifestyle and temperament didn’t make for the kind of stability children need. So I had no choice but to go it alone with Lucy.
Thirties and Forties
I met my third husband on the way to an interview in Bristol. Two years later we married and had two more daughters Sammy and Jo. Those years bringing up the girls were the happiest in my life, I ran a playgroup and started writing short stories, then three books. Later I opened a card and gift shop in Bristol’s Clifton area too. Writing became more and more important to me and when I had a meeting with Darley Anderson, a Literary agent, to discuss the last of the three books, he said it wasn’t good enough to be published, but I could write and I was to go home and write another, based on something I really knew about.
I came up with the idea of ‘Georgia’ on the train journey home, and I wrote it in six months. Darley loved it, but it was to be six years, and several massive rewrites before we eventually found a publisher. During that long period I worked full time at the shop, looked after the house and children, and wrote three more books at night.
Some strange compulsion kept me writing, even if at times it seemed utterly hopeless. It was my dream to be a successful writer, and no one could dissuade me. I do believe that persistence is the key. The more you write, the better you get at it. Disappointments and rejections are all part of the apprenticeship.
My gift shop failed in the 90’s recession leaving me with a mountain of debt and bruised spirits, but the old cliché that when one door closes, another opens, was true in my case. ‘Georgia’ was published just a couple of months after I closed the shop door for the last time.
Most days when I wake up in my pretty cottage, look out at the garden I have created myself, and mentally pinch myself to check it is real, and not another figment of my imagination. I have my lovely three girls, two wonderful grandsons and my dogs, plus a host of friends I cherish.
Twenty books under my belt now, and a few more in my head. The sadness of the past is all gone, and mostly I feel quite blessed that my early life was so turbulent. I can write about unloved children, friendship, adoption, rejection, fear, painful first love, poverty and revenge because I really know about those things. My love of history had given me a deep well to dip into for further ideas.
I just hope